Wednesday, January 11, 2017

First post for 2017

Happy New Year to you all!!! Wow the two weeks off over Christmas went very fast! We've been back home now for nearly two weeks and have hardly stopped to draw breath! Mick has been great and worked over Christmas so that we could get away to Western Australia for a family (Kim's side) Christmas so we are eternally grateful to him. We've been here on our own for the first week, but Edmund and Maitland are back now so life is a fraction easier for me! Maitland is back from 14 months of travelling the world, so he will join the Dawson Valley Free Range team for a while (until he saves enough to clear out again!). Edmund is still around but once he's finished helping us with some pig development, I think he plans on doing some travel of his own. Mick will be back at work next week, thank goodness! We did get a little bit of rain while we were away, so it was nice to come back to some green grass, although around the pig paddocks it's pretty short.


Now the bad news......we have made the difficult decision to cancel the January markets. There are a few reasons for this and I shall endeavour to explain some of them.

1.  We have been really busy and would've had to take the animals to the butcher last week, and we really did not have the time to do it.

2.  We are still a little short on pigs - and there are a few reasons for this. We were hammered just before Christmas by our butchers wanting quite a lot of pigs. The two weeks off over the Christmas break did allow our grower pigs to grow a bit more, so that was good but now we really only just have enough to supply the butchers. But one of the main issues we have is that to ensure we have enough pigs for Christmas this year, we need to mate about 20-30 extra sows by March/April. So we need to keep some gilts now so that they are old enough to mate by then. To make things even more difficult, we really need to get rid of some older sows that are no longer producing and so we need to keep replacements for these! While we may buy some replacements in, we won't be able to afford to buy all we need, so will have to keep some of our own.

Butchers are our main source for sales. We make a lot better profit on the butcher pigs than we do on the market pigs, so while we enjoy going to the markets, if we look at it from a profitable standpoint, we need to look after our butchers first. And as I've said before, if we aren't profitable, we aren't able to stay in business! So I do apologise for the cancellation and believe me it hurts me as much as you.

I also think that we may only be able to do once per month until after April. I am hoping to have enough stock that if you want to stock up on meat you should be able to.

We greatly appreciate your support and your patience with our inability to supply the demand that we have.

Markets will be on the first weekend of the month, so that means 4th and 5th of February for the first one.

We will have Beef, Goat and all the Pork products (ham, bacon, fresh pork). 

Future beef - a bit more grass on the cattle country.

Please feel free to send me any special requests that you would like. We don't always do all cuts that are listed on our Pricelist Page so if you don't want to miss out, just let me know what you want. While saying that you can make special requests, I also need to remind customers that it's not easy for me to pack large orders. You can send me a list and I will try and put it together while I'm at the Yeppoon Markets or early Sunday morning at the Rocky Markets. I just can't guarantee that I'll have the time to do it.

We will be visiting Gladstone and I'm not exactly sure which day yet that I'll do it, so Gladstone people please let me know if you want meat and I'll make sure I confirm closer to the day. It will most likely be Saturday afternoon but if I can convince Kim to have a day off on the Friday we might do it Friday afternoon.

I am really looking forward to catching up with everyone and can't wait to get some local fruit and veggies for myself!

And I just thought I'd share a photo of my family - we're all dressed up in our glad rags for Kim's mothers 90th birthday on Boxing Day. It was a pretty special time to have all my kids together!



Cheers,
Lucy

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